Facebook has launched a new feature which allows SMBs to host paid online events. The new tool is said to be free for at least a year.
This is a move from Facebook to help small businesses through the current pandemic, as it offers another way to generate revenue.
With social distancing mandates still in place, many businesses and creators are bringing their events and services online to connect with existing customers and reach new ones. People are also relying on live video and interactive experiences more when they can’t come together physically. In June, we saw live broadcasts from Pages double compared to the same time last year, largely attributed to broadcasts since March. By combining marketing, payment and live video, paid online events meet the end-to-end needs of businesses. Pages can host events on Facebook Live to reach broad audiences, and we’re testing paid events with Messenger Rooms for more personal and interactive gatherings.
What are the paid online events all about?
This new tool is a product which allows businesses, brands or other individuals to create paid events or classes and charge for them, essentially. As it stands, businesses keep 100% of the revenue to themselves. Though on iOS, businesses must pay the 30% Apple fee.
The new offering has everything you need in order to set up and run a paid event. This includes the hosting, tickets, promotions, payment processing and more.
You can set up an event and promote it to followers of your page, or promote it to a wider audience via Facebook ads. This means you can create a custom audience from people who have attended a specific event or class.
So what can you use it for? Some examples Facebook has seen are:
In testing, we’ve seen businesses use Facebook to host expert talks, trivia events, podcast recordings, boxing matches, cooking classes, intimate meet-and-greets, fitness classes and more.
While it is free for at least a year, Facebook will inevitably charge for this offering once it potentially gets adopted by lots of small businesses. That being said, it’s still a great opportunity for businesses to generate revenue from an entirely new channel over the next year – especially when many businesses are struggling and online-events are a hot topic. This makes perfect sense.